When you tell someone you plan on being a writer, it often comes with a warning. "You know that's a hard path," people say, or "you know that probably won't make you a lot of money." (That's if they say anything all and don't just grunt and raise an eyebrow.) Due to this and a variety of other reasons, doubt is easy to come by in the world of art.Well, here's a little anecdote that I hope will brighten things up for you:
Last week, a close friend of mine had a mental breakdown. After four months off of antidepressants, she relapsed and is now in a facility getting help.
Though it didn't hit me so hard at first, in the past 24 hours, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It's not that I'm worried about her--I know she'll get the help she needs--it's that I'm in this odd role of having been there but knowing that I'm in a better off position than her, because I've been off meds for almost a year.
Relapsing is bad with anything, but relapsing with depression is extremely difficult. You find yourself thinking "What is wrong with me that I fail at being happy? I mean, it's not like I'm out smoking crack or something, I just want to be normal and I can't."
Crazy, huh? Because the more that I thought about it, the more that I couldn't help but feel like I could be better. That we should be better.
We all have those moments where we wonder if we're good enough or if there's something wrong with us or if we'll "make it" or if our efforts will be worth it, or if those around us--friends, family members, and others--are actually listening to us and learning from us or if they'll just forget it all once they have the time. As artists and creative people, it's shoved down our throughts that the chances are high that we won't succeed or, if we manage to, we still won't get very far. But we're no worse off as striving people than anybody else and our chances get better and better the harder we try. What I would tell you or myself in moments of doubt is just about the same as what I'll tell my friend once she get's out of wherever she is right now and that's that you won't succeed every time. You can't. It's impossible. But the odds get greater with every failure that your next try or the one after that will have to be a success. Doubt won't get you anywhere but into a bad mood. You are stronger than you think. So go out and be great.